"Lieutenant Mark Straczynski sure didn't look like a typical comic book geek."
Even sitting at his desk, "Strazz" was imposing. He might have been carrying about 15 pounds more than before the injury, but the shoulders and arms beneath his dark blue SWAT fatigues told of a powerful upper body.
He also wore a .45 automatic butt-down in a brown leather shoulder holster. Despite the movies, any plainclothes cop wearing a shoulder holster can be dismissed as an asshole, while the only worse offence is to carry it butt-down. On Straczynski, even though he wasn't really a field cop anymore, the ensemble looked right – he looked like someone an instant away from a gunfight with the fate of the world at stake.
When Detectives McCloud and Brandon start investigating which cop might be lurking behind the armor of Blue Prime, they figure it's someone with SWAT skills or a Special Forces background and access to weapons. So they seek advice from Lieutenant Strazz, a semi-retired legend in the SWAT world who has an impeccable record, walks with a limp and a French WWI-vintage sword cane, and knows every gunslinger in LA's law enforcement community.
They get better leads from Strazz than J. Richard Eagles, a cop who was wounded when "Teflon Joe" Andolini killed his partner.
Eagles, stuck at the Academy instructing new recruits in unarmed combat until he's cleared for active duty, has a perfect alibi for the night Blue Prime assassinated Andolini. And he's not thrilled about Brandon probing him about it: "There are a thousand cops in LA who might have killed Teflon Joe, who would have delighted in killing him. And y'know what? If one of them comes to me and says he did it, I'll buy him a beer. Hell, I'll buy him a car! But the very last thing I'd do is tell you, Brandon."
But at least Eagles is polite about it.
Brandon regards Quentin King as a typical arrogant SWAT use-force-ask-questions-later kind of guy. Somehow, King seems to inspire loyalty, every time Brandon has had him up on charges, his teams have always backed him.
When Brandon and McCloud run into King in the parking garage, the SWAT commander just about flattens Brandon, mutters something that sounds like "other trucking sock ducker" and roars off in his restored 1982 Trans Am Firebird.
Whether it's called Internal Affairs Division or Professional Standards Bureau, it's hard for shooflies to get respect. See how McCloud and Brandon continue their investigation on 12/12/12.